Tom Williams brings you the latest in search engine optimisation news, including parameter handling for HTTPS migrations, new content labels in Google search results snippets, and targeting competitor keywords.

Parameter Handling For HTTPS Migration

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If you have parameter handling already set up in Google Search Console, and you’re looking to migrate your site from HTTP to HTTPS, make sure you transfer the setup.

Barry Schwartz writes:

Make sure to set up a new Google Search Console verified property for your HTTPS site, leave the HTTP version alone. Then set up the parameter handling in there as well.

When it comes to site migrations, certain legacy configurations need to be handled properly, such as chain and URL redirects, hreflang tags and structured data.

Here’s a word from Google’s John Mueller via Twitter:

@JohnMu: You need to transfer the parameter handling settings if you move to HTTPS (that’s in our docs). Usually a sign that you’re internally linking w/parameters a lot too.

Featured Snippets Update

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On 22nd November, Barry Schwartz noted: “Pete Meyers from Moz was tweeting yesterday about how the featured snippets at the end of October have significantly changed.”

It seems as though the SERPS that stopped showing featured snippets last month are now displaying knowledge panels.

According to data from Mozcast and RankRanger, there were prominent fluctuations with featured snippets showing in search results.

Featured snippets are constantly subject to change, so we cannot determine what will happen next.

Update To Blocked Search Results Snippet

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Speaking of snippets…

Google has announced an update to the text used when telling a user that a search result snippet doesn’t have any information.

The previous text:

A description for this result is not available because of this site’s robots.txt – learn more.

The new text:

No information is available for this page. Learn why.

Now users can click to the “Learn why” page, it means Google has provided them with more ways to change this result.

Google Content Labels Get A Refresh

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Earlier in November, Google seemed to be trialling a new look for PDF labels in the search results.

Now, the search engine giant is doing the same for other content types, such as PowerPoint. PDFs have a small “PDF” icon next to the web address, and similarly PowerPoints have “PPT”.

Here’s what Barry Schwartz thinks:

It is clean and descriptive, I like it.

Whiteboard Friday – Targeting The Keywords Your Competitors Use 

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Last week, Rand Fishkin talked us through which of our competitors’ keywords we should and shouldn’t be targeting.

According to our favourite MozBod:

You don’t want to try and rank for every one of your competitor’s keywords. Like most things with SEO, it’s important to be strategic and intentional with your decisions.

More SEO News and Advice

Read last week’s SEO News Roundup: Google’s Panda and Penguin Still Receiving Tweaks

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About the author:

Tom joined ClickThrough in 2011. Since then, he has developed an expertise in the technical side of search engine optimisation. He’s Google Analytics-qualified, and in his current role as digital and technical Executive, carries out monthly SEO activities and provides technical consultancy for several of the company’s largest accounts.